This chicken casserole with a beautiful Mediterranean grilled vegetable mix, makes the perfect family lunch or dinner, a superb combination of veggies, simply seasoned and tossed in extra virgin olive oil. An easy, gluten-free and fairly low carbs main dish.
Summer, summer, summer! I love summer in general but mainly because it is that vitamin refill. Isn’t summer almost all about tones of vegetable intake? The taste of this mixed grilled veggies, polenta and chicken casserole is just divine.
I always love a good mix of vegetables in general but the fact that they are grilled and this containing aubergine and peppers it just hits the ultimate taste jackpot for me.
It can be a complete vegan dish and I can’t really explain why but I love eating this cold if I leave the chicken out with warm or even cold polenta.
I have to tell you that this dish is just a breath of fresh air. It is simply superb so just give it a try.
This again is a dish that I used to eat a lot as a kid; my mum used to make it often in the summer months and the whole neighbourhood could smell it!
How often do you make a chicken casserole like this?
Oh, you should! It is healthy and that grilling of the veggies, especially the pepper, the smell... ah, out of this world! I just adore the grilled or fried peppers smell and taste, the colours, I could just have that all day, every day. I am telling you this chicken casserole dish is simply divine.
Above all, it is low carbs, gluten-free and packed with veggies so can’t go wrong with such a choice.
Of course, you can choose to have it with no meat at all or swap the chicken for beef, pork lamb or even fish, for short have it with your favourite meat or completely meatless.
The polenta here must be a little dense and not too soft but this can be sometimes tricky to get right as the water amount needed really depends on how starchy the flour is and I do suggest you use a corn flour that you know and have used before. Do not worry if it gets too dense or it is too runny, you can always add some more water or cornmeal, whatever it is needed.
Cornmeal does not contain any gluten or wheat and thus should be safe for people on a celiac diet. However, cross-contamination is always a concern. Just make sure the one you have is certified gluten-free cornmeal if need be. You can also buy pre-cooked polenta that comes in a package. I do prefer the freshly made one though, it is the best.
Other polenta recipes you may like :
- Chicken with garlic, vegetable tomato sauce and polenta
- Vegan mushrooms and polenta
- Simple sardine fillets and polenta with Parmesan cheese and garlic sauce
- Tomato and polenta dumplings soup
Let's get on with some cooking then, shall we?
Mixed grilled veggies, polenta and chicken casserole
Ingredients to prepare the chicken casserole
- 500 g chicken thighs (Approx 1lb)
- 2 courgettes
- 2 aubergines
- 2 onions (red or white)
- 2-4 red peppers
- 500 ml passata (approx 17 floz) (or any tomato juice or chopped ones canned or fresh)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g Kalamata olives (approx 3.5 oz)
- 2 sprigs thyme (fesh or dry)
- 2 tsp himalayan salt
- 2-3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp pepper freshly ground
- 3 tbsp parsley (fresh) to garnish
Ingredients to prepare the polenta
- 150 g polenta flour (5.3oz) cornmeal
- 500 ml water (17floz)
- 1 pinch rosemary (chopped)
- Wash and chop all vegetables. Put them into a big tray/bowl. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt over them. Then place on a grill or in a tray and bake for at least 25 min.
- Using a griddle pan or charcoal BBQ (for best taste) grill all vegetables. ** Bake if not possible to grill.
- Cook the chicken either in a pan or on grill/BBQ. If you pan cooked the chicken, use this same pan later to add the veggies and finish the dish.
- Simultaneously, place a pot with the water for the polenta on medium/high fire, add the salt and allow to boil.
- Separately, (unless you have pan cooked the chicken) place a deep frying pan over medium heat, put a tbsp of olive oil and add the chicken thighs in as well as all grilled vegetables in. Cook them covered with some salt on low fire drizzling a little water or stock if you have some so that they don't stick to the pan. Cook for 5 min.
- Add the Passata, mix well and cook for 15' from the boiling point on medium/low fire. Cook uncovered until the sauce reduces. Add the olives in the last 2 minutes of cooking so they just about release a little bit of flavour but don't really get to cook. Olives can also be added right at the end.
- While the casserole is simmering away, let's go back to our lovely polenta. When the water for the polenta is boiling, add the chopped thyme or rosemary and then the polenta flour while stirring gently until it all homogenizes. Continue to stir for about 2 minutes and then allow to cook for 2 minutes. Repeat this a few times and then take out on a plate. All in all, cook for 12-15 min.
- When the casserole is ready and most juices have reduced, is ready to turn the heat off, add the finely chopped garlic stir for 10 seconds and sprinkle some chopped parsley.
- Serve the polenta with the casserole while hot.